You can watch a person. You can see them laugh. You can see them post happy pictures on social media, and be polite, and carry on casual conversations.
You can look at a person. You can see their handbag. You can see their clothes, and their hair, and their shoes.
But you know what you can’t see?
You can’t see the fight they just had with their spouse. You can’t see their tears from the night before.
You can’t see the helpless feeling they’re experiencing trying to help their teenager who keeps going in the wrong direction. You can’t see the time, and energy, and love they’ve dedicated to raising good children. You can’t see how hard they work without even an ounce of appreciation.
You can’t see the demotion they just received or the rejection they’re facing. You can’t see the two jobs they’re working just to make ends meet.
You can’t see the loved one they just lost. You can’t see the parent who was just diagnosed with cancer. You can’t see their battle with infertility, or the miscarriage they recently had.
You can’t see their anxiety. You can’t see the depression they’ve been battling for who knows how long.
You can’t see their loneliness.
You can’t see their brokenness.
You can’t see their breakdowns.
You can’t see their heartache.
You can’t see the silent weight they constantly carry on their shoulders.
You can’t see their fear or the lies they tell themselves. You can’t see their inner turmoil or the way they lie in bed every single night and wonder why they aren’t enough, and if they’ll ever just learn to like who they are.
You can’t see how hard they’re working to get through this day, or this week, or this season.
You can’t see all the things they never share. You can’t see all the things they coverup. You can’t see all the things they are desperate to keep hidden.
We think we know people. We look at people and think we see them, but the truth is most of the time, we only see traces of the truth. We only see a fraction of the full story.
Don’t be unkind.
Don’t assume anything except that they are loved by the same God who loves you, and what they need most right now is grace.
Maybe we can’t see, but with one simple act of love, we can help them see that there is still good in the world, that good people exist, and that there is always, always a reason to keep going.